Zheng Ren was roused from his heavy slumber by the loud, piercing ringtone of his cell phone.
He jumped out of the bed as if by reflex and accepted the call immediately.
It was a young surgeons essential skill to accept an emergency phone call anytime and anywhere.
Zheng Ren had already maxed out the skill tree on this ability.
“Zheng Ren, what the hell did you do yesterday”
Chief Surgeon Lius deafening roar traveled from the other end of the phone into Zheng Rens ear.
He could almost feel the mans saliva spraying in every direction and splashing on his face through the phone.
“Chief Surgeon Liu, what happened” asked Zheng Ren calmly.
“You know what you did yesterday!” Chief Surgeon Liu shouted without answering Zheng Rens question, adding, “Performing a surgery which wasnt even at your level without authorization and disobeying direct orders from your superiors.
Did you think you were allowed to perform a pancreaticoduodenectomy Well hold you accountable if the patient suffers from any complications!”
Chief Surgeon Liu howled in exasperation.
Zheng Ren wanted to explain himself but he had no idea what to say in that moment.
The reason was plain and simple—Chief Surgeon Liu was actually right.
“Youll report to the emergency department tomorrow.
This is the will of Director Fu,” instructed Chief Surgeon Liu, who then hung up without giving Zheng Ren a chance to defend himself.
Uh… Zheng Ren was slightly disheartened rather than annoyed at Chief Surgeon Lius awful attitude.
The unreliable System seemed to have disappeared into thin air.
He had entered the mysterious world once more, but nothing had changed so far.
Was his career as a surgeon coming to an end
That was depressing.
Well, he had to move on despite the depression.
Zheng Ren lifted his gaze and glanced at the time on his phone, which told him it was six oclock in the morning.
This gave him quite a shock as he had been asleep for more than ten hours.
Chief Surgeon Liu had called him quite early in the day.
Did he not sleep at all
The phone rang again while his mind was wandering elsewhere.
The caller was Zheng Rens best friend in the department—Yang Lei—and his voice sounded anxious and restless.
“Zheng Ren, something major happened yesterday.”
“Huh What happened”
“The patient was transferred back to the ward after surgery without any issue.
Professor Ichiro Moriyu went to check on the pathological specimen and realized that someone had actually completed the surgery after him.
“That made his blood boil and he rebuked Director Fu like he was scolding his grandson.
“I heard this on the grapevine anyway, but someone in our department finished the surgery when Ichiro Moriyu figured that it was an impossible task.
Haha, that must be embarrassing for him.”
The voice from the other end of the phone sounded as if it was gloating.
“Anyway, someone had to take the fall and they chose you.
Director Fus initial intention was to fire you but luckily, Chief Physician Old Pan from the emergency department argued with him and protected you.”
What did this have to do with the emergency department Zheng Ren recognized Chief Physician Old Pan—an elderly chief physician from a military hospital who was transferred to Sea City General Hospital after retirement.
Perhaps Chief Physician Old Pan was the only person willing to defend him as he was a hot-tempered and frank elderly man due to his military background.
Had he realized something
“Well, as a result, youve been transferred to the emergency department.
By the way, you were in the operating theater yesterday, yes Who finished the surgery in the end”
“…” Zheng Ren finally understood what had happened during his deep slumber after exhausting himself from the prime experience.
He presumed Ichiro Moriyu had taken his leave after embarrassing himself in the hospital.
There was a serious omission in this case and someone had to take the fall for it.
Moreover, the management had even gone as far as to impose a news blackout and thus, none of them realized that he was actually the surgeon behind that surgery.
Well, not all… Perhaps Chief Physician Old Pan had discovered the truth, or he would not have argued with Director Fu for someone who was not even in his own department.
“I dont know,” answered Zheng Ren after giving it some thought.
There was no way he would admit the truth because the prime experience was merely a one-time episode.
His original skill level would be revealed if he was asked to perform the same surgery again.
That would be extremely embarrassing.
He needed to take things slowly since he had the System to assist him.
Well, if the System could come alive quickly enough, anyway.
Zheng Ren hung up and washed up hastily before heading to work.
The first thing Zheng Ren saw after entering the general surgery department was Chief Surgeon Lius dark expression.
Should he initiate an argument with Chief Surgeon Liu No, that was not Zheng Rens personality.
Chief Surgeon Liu could shout and curse publicly without any difficulty but it was an impossible task for Zheng Ren, who was actually a gentleman as his name implied1.
There was no way on Earth Zheng Ren would confess the truth to Chief Surgeon Li, either.
Even his best friend did not know, let alone the public.
He had broken the rules even though the patient had benefited from the surgery with a perfect outcome.
He could do nothing, especially when hospital management was particularly strict about its regulations.
Zheng Ren chose to ignore Chief Surgeon Liu and greeted his colleagues before entering the duty room.
After that, he started transferring his belongings—white coat, stethoscope, reflex hammer, and a few medical books—from the locker to a plastic bag and left the first general surgery department.
“What happened to Zheng Ren”
None of the staff dared to ask any questions in such a gloomy environment.
It was not until Zheng Ren left the department and a vexed Chief Surgeon Liu returned to his office when a junior nurse broke the silence by quietly throwing a question to her colleagues.
“Professor Ichiro Moriyu was angry about the rule violation in yesterdays surgery and thus…” replied a senior nurse.
“How could that be He is a good man.”
“Dont judge so quickly.
I think Doctor Zheng is out of luck this time.
Did you know that Director Fu was scolding Chief Surgeon Liu with very harsh words for the whole night yesterday”
Zheng Ren, who had no clue about the discussion between his colleagues, took an elevator to the ground floor and headed straight towards the emergency department, which was situated opposite the hospitals main entrance.
This was a five-story building that, according to its original design plan, was designated specifically as an independent emergency hospital where every emergency case would receive immediate treatment.
However, most doctors were unwilling to stay in the department due to the intense stress and difficulty of the cases.
If administrative measures were imposed to force the doctors stays, most of them would resign by any means necessary, such as applying for long term leave or pretending to be sick at home.
This was a common phenomenon across the globe.
No matter how good the infrastructure was, it was impossible to build an emergency hospital when they were lacking in physicians.
Thus, only the first floor was used to treat emergency cases through internal medicine, surgery, or obstetrics and gynecology specialties with the remaining floors unoccupied.
A transfer to the emergency department was equivalent to banishing criminals from the former Soviet Union to Siberia.
That was the consensus every doctor had reached so far.
However, Zheng Ren did not feel upset at all.
He was a man with a System within him anyway, so there was absolutely no need for him to start a dispute with Chief Surgeon Liu.
He reported himself to the emergency department but Chief Physician Pan was nowhere to be seen.
The matron informed him that Chief Physician Pan had assigned a post—chief resident—for him and he was in charge of the clinical aspect of every surgical case in the department.
This confirmed Zheng Rens initial postulation.
Other people knew he was the surgeon behind that surgery, and one of them was Chief Physician Pan.
“Hey, Senior Chief Zheng.
Are you even an attending surgeon” An eccentric voice traveled to his ears before he received the key to his locker.
Zheng Ren turned around and saw Doctor Yuan Li from the emergency department.
Despite his infrequent visits to the emergency department, Zheng Ren recognized him eventually after so many years.
They would usually greet each other with just a nod and that was their relationship in a nutshell.
“Brother Yuan, I was promoted to an attending surgeon last year,” replied Zheng Ren with a smile born of his politeness.
“Well, well, well… Please guide me in the future as an attending surgeon,” mocked Yuan Li as he leaned on the door to the emergency surgery department.
“Youre a senior, so lets not stand on ceremony here,” replied Zheng Ren, who was currently having a headache due to his inexperience with conflict.
“Oh, please dont! Chief Physician Pan announced that youre Chief Resident Zheng from now on,” Yuan Li sneered before coughing.
“Yuan Li, mind your attitude!” yelled the matron who had reached the end of her patience.
She had to make sure both Yuan Li and Zheng Ren did not end up in a fistfight in Chief Physician Pans absence.
“Matron, Im unconvinced.
Ive been working here for so many years, but why did he, who was transferred here very recently, earn the position as chief resident when it was supposed to be mine” complained an agitated Yuan Li.
“Lodge a complaint to Chief Physician Pan yourself, but Little Zheng…”
“Dont worry, we wont get into a fight,” Yuan Li stared at Zheng Ren with contempt and asked sarcastically, “Hey, kid.
Do you understand diseases”
“Silence, eh You must be very confident, right” mocked Yuan Li.
The matron remained silent after ensuring both of them would not end up wrestling each other.
In fact, she was also curious as to why Chief Physician Pan assigned Zheng Ren as chief resident when that job position had remained vacant for so many years.
Moreover, Chief Physician Pan had an intense argument with Director Fu yesterday and told the director that he would have definitely ordered two squadrons of cavalry to gun him down if he was still in the military a few years back.
Chief Physician Pan was actually a reasonable man despite being irascible.
He must have done it for a good reason.
The emergency department enjoyed its most leisurely time in the morning.
Thus, physicians and pediatricians came out and joined the crowd as onlookers.
Zheng Ren appeared helpless, which gave Yuan Li a sense of triumph.
He then thought to himself.
“Dont even think about doing anything as you please under Chief Physician Pans protection.
Our skills earn us paychecks and determine our success in life!”
A young man in his late adolescence walked into the emergency department with a registration number in his hands.
“Which specialty are you going to” asked Yuan Li.
“Headache,” answered the young man quickly, since he had never seen such an enthusiastic doctor in his life.
“To internal medicine then,” replied the disappointed Yuan Li.
However, Zheng Ren was frozen on the spot, obviously absent-minded.
His vision had become three-dimensional as soon as he saw the patient.
The translucent screen was hovering before his eyes again with Chinese characters constantly appearing in the upper right corner.
The emergence of this screen relieved Zheng Ren completely.
Thank God, the System was still alive.
It was just being quiet all these while.
The total number of words on the screen was increasing, which prompted Zheng Ren to read it quickly and carefully.
Seventeen-year-old male patient.
Headache and nausea.
Last emesis ten hours ago.
The following details were the patients vital signs, various investigation results, and the final diagnosis…
Zheng Ren could even hear the keyboard typing sound when the words appeared on the screen.
Was this still his own System It could as well be his biological father who had maxed out the skill tree on how to diagnose a patient!
Had he transformed into the Terminator in the end
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